Eszter Harsányi-Bélteki



Eszter was awarded a First Class Honours LLB in Business Law from London Metropolitan University, where she developed a keen interest in European Union Constitutional and Company Law. She continued to pursue her interest in European Union Company Law and examined various aspects of the proposed European Private Company while completing her LLM in European Trade and Commercial Law with Distinction from Durham University.

Eszter has joined Durham Law School as a PhD candidate in October 2012 and has been engaged in research in European Union and Comparative Constitutional Law under the supervision of Professor Robert Schütze and Professor Roger Masterman.

Eszter was awarded a scholarship by the European Research Council in August 2013, which also involves her acting as a part-time Research Assistant for Professor Robert Schütze. She is also leading tutorials in EU Constitutional Law and is assisting in the management of the Durham European Law Institute as its Postgraduate Convenor.

Current Research

As part of her PhD, Eszter is conducting a comparative research of the application of fundamental values in two unions of states, the United States of America and the European Union, from a federalist viewpoint.

She has so far examined the various measures for the application of these values in the United States of America by looking at three particular aspects of that federal system. She has investigated the guarantee clause of the Constitutions of the United States of America that provides a guarantee of a republican government for each state by the federal government. Her analysis of this area also proposed a novel method of inter-branch application of this clause.

She has subsequently studied how the federal fundamental rights provided to individuals under the Bill of Rights may be applicable against a state through the incorporation doctrine while engaging in a historical examination of the development of this method. She has subsequently established that the Supreme Court in its interpretation of this doctrine has been heading towards the initially rejected approach of total incorporation.

She has also devoted substantial part of her PhD to the study of the commerce clause and whether through the interpretation of both the positive and the negative sides of the clause it may be argued that the purpose for its adoption was the creation of a national market in the United States of America. Her examination has concluded that even though this aim has been present throughout the development of the interpretation of the clause, in both angles, a step back has occurred in the Supreme Court, especially in the recent case of National Federation of Independent Business v Sebelius (2012) 567 US ___ .

Her research now focuses on the application of similar fundamental values in the European Union.

She has dedicated a significant part of this year of her PhD to the investigation of the enforcement mechanisms available to the European Union under Article 7 Treaty on European Union (TEU) against those states that may not uphold the fundamental values of the Union, as set out in Article 2 TEU. She has not only examined the novel measures proposed to reform the effective enforcement of these values, but has also studied extensively the enforcement of such values in Hungary.

Her research will subsequently involve the examination of the protection of fundamental rights of individuals in the European Union through the European incorporation doctrine.

Consequently, she will compare the dormant commerce clause with Article 34 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and the affirmative commerce clause with Article 114 TFEU. These comparisons aim to highlight the limitations placed on the powers of the federal government and the EU as well as those of the states within each union.

Teaching Area

EU Constitutional Law

Research Groups

Durham European Law Institute
Human Rights Centre

Research Interests

EU Constitutional Law
Constitutional Law of the United States of America
Comparative Constitutional Law
Fundamental Rights
European Union Company Law

Conference and seminar papers

(2014) ‘Creating a national market in the United States of America through the dormant commerce clause?’ The Constitutional Implications of Free Movement, University of Oslo, Norway
(2014) ‘The commerce clause of the Constitution of the United States: the purpose of the regulation of interstate commerce’ ICCL Postgraduate Workshop, “The Purpose of Commercial Law”, Durham Law School, Durham, United Kingdom
(2014) ‘The guarantee clause of the Constitution of the United States: The development and importance of the sleeping giant’ IXth World Congress of Constitutional Law, “Constitutional Challenges: Global and Local”, Oslo, Norway
(2014) ‘”Peoples of the several states must sink or swim together” in the national economy of the United States: To what extent?’ Senior Common Room Symposium, College of St Hild and St Bede, Durham, United Kingdom
(2013) ‘The guarantee clause of the Constitution of the United States: The development and importance of the “sleeping giant” today’, ‘Human Rights: In Conflict’, Annual Law Postgraduate Conference, Durham Law School, Durham, United Kingdom
(2013) ‘The guarantee clause of the Constitution of the United States’ Senior Common Room Symposium, College of St Hild and St Bede, Durham, United Kingdom